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Nine Pakistanis, Two Afghans Among Those Killed In New Zealand Mosque Attacks

Residents hug after paying respects at a mosque in Auckland, New Zealand, following the attacks in Christchurch.
Residents hug after paying respects at a mosque in Auckland, New Zealand, following the attacks in Christchurch.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed that nine of the 50 people killed in the Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque attacks on March 15 were Pakistani citizens.

Other foreigners identified by their governments as being killed were from around the world -- including citizens of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt, and the United States.

A document listing the people killed in the mass shootings shows that the victims ranged in age from 3 to 77.

New Zealand’s largest mass shooting occurred as a gunman stormed the Al Noor Mosque in the city of Christchurch and opened fire, hitting dozens of people before fleeing to another mosque in the city and resuming his shooting spree.

A 28-year-old Australian man believed to be a white supremist was later arrested and has been charged with murder. The man posted video of the attack on the Internet and published a manifesto that included anti-Muslim rants.

Among the Pakistani victims were 50-year-old Mian Naeem Rashid, who was shot and killed while trying to disarm the gunman, and his 22-year-old son Talha Naeem.

The elder Rashid has been hailed by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan as a national hero because of his attempt to overpower the gunman.

"Pakistan is proud of Mian Naeem Rashid who was martyred trying to tackle the White Supremacist terrorist & his courage will be recognized with a national award," Khan said in a March 17 Twitter post.

"We stand ready to extend all our support to the families of Pakistani victims of the terrorist attack in Christchurch," Khan said.

Originally from Abbottabad, Pakistan, Rashid had moved to New Zealand with his son in 2008 and was a teacher in Christchurch.

Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal said on March 17 that they will both be buried in Christchurch and that arrangements have been made with the assistance of Muslim and Pakistani associations in the city.

Officials in Islamabad said the victims included three members of the same Pakistani family -- Zeeshan Raza, his father Ghulam Hussain, and his mother, Karam Bibi.

The Foreign Ministry also provided additional information about the identities of four other slain Pakistani victims of the attacks.

They included 40-year-old Sohail Shahid; 40-year-old Rawalpindi resident Mahboob Haroon; and 34-year-old Syed Jahandad Ali from Lahore.

Also killed was 27-year-old Karachi resident Syed Areeb Ahmed, a chartered accountant who was on a business trip to Christchurch. He was the son of Ayaz Ahmed.

The slain Pakistani victims had all been named by the Pakistani Foreign Ministry as “missing.”

Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s embassy in Australia has confirmed that 71-year-old Haji Daoud Nabi was killed.

Born in Afghanistan, Nabi reportedly fled the country in 1979 to escape the Soviet invasion.

In Christchurch, Nabi ran a group called the Afghan Association that tries to help refugees start new lives.

Also killed was a man of Afghan origin identified by the Afghan Embassy in Canberra as Matiullah Safi.

The embassy also said three other Afghan citizens were among about 50 people wounded in the attacks.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, dpa, BBC, Geo News, The International News, and Al-Jazeera